Pass the shiraz: variety the spice of life for Australian wine growers

The global wine market has been progressively more competitive in the last decade; however, despite all the competition, the mix of Australian grape varieties isn’t too different from the world’s. Since 2000, it’s been more diluted.

Winemakers are always looking for innovative methods to distinguish their wine to attract and hold consumers’ (and supermarkets’) interest; however, Australia so far has not made much progress in diversifying its vineyards.

Although there are vast differences in the conditions of growing across Australia regionally, the differences between varietals within Australia are not as significant as in other countries. This means there’s ample opportunity to investigate alternatives in the different regions of Australia, which is something that grape growers are already doing when they think of ways to adjust to changes in climate.

Here are a few information gleaned from a brand’s newly released resource, which reveals what winegrape varieties are grown in which regions of the world and provides winemakers information that can be used to make crucial decision-making.

The adaptation to climate by Australian winemakers, for instance, may mean switching to more robust southerly European grape varieties or using grapes from higher latitudes or high-altitude regions in the event that wineries want to keep their current selection of types. In addition, the introduction of novel kinds may create a distinctive point for a winery’s product. In order to respond, you need data on the developments in the planting of varietals across the globe and here.

Researchers compiled the database for 2010 from the University of Adelaide. The University of Adelaide includes 520 regions across 44 countries, thus covering 99 percent of the world’s wine production, and has more than 1,270 varieties of winegrape.

Measurement of the uniqueness of your product

Researchers created the Varietal Similarity Index, also known as VSI, which measures the extent to which one region’s mix is to the other’s. The indicator is a complicated formula, but it is a range of zero to one. A VSI value of 0 indicates that a region’s mix of varietals is not in any way overlapping with the blend of other areas (or the rest of the world or in the same year), While a VSI of one indicates that the two regions have the same percentage of the bearing surface under specific grape varieties.

In 2000, the VSI of Australia and the rest of the world was 0.45, which was ranked 9th worldwide. However, it climbed to 0.62 in 2010, making it the 3rd highest in the world, following France in the United States and France (marginally) in the United States. The average of the VSIs for the other countries included in the sample did not change by 0.35. This means that Australia was less distinct from the average country with its diverse mix in 2000. Its distinctness weakened in 2010.

Winemakers are exploring different grape varieties to respond to climate change.

How distinct are wine regions across Australia?

Despite the vast variations in the conditions of growth across the country, the variation variations among the regions of Australia are much less pronounced as compared to other nations. The median of its regional VSIs of 0.53 is not too far off the national VSI, which was 0.62 in 2010 and is more than twice that of the regional average VSI for other countries included in the study. In France, for instance, the regions are legally required to cultivate only a few varieties that have been deemed as being the best suited to the area; the average of the regional VSIs for France is 0.29.

Some regions of Australia have been able to pull away from the crowd and are, therefore, more distinct from the national mix than they were in 2000. However, less than one-fifth of the 74 regions of Australia on the database, accounting for forty percent of the nation’s winegrape region in 2010, altered their mix of varietals barely any time (the VSI of their combination in 2010 was 0.97 or greater). In addition, for another quarter of Australia’s regions, which comprise 22 percent of the nation’s area and 22% of the national winegrape area, the VSI of their mix was 0.95 and 0.96. Only the tiny rest of the regions, making up just one-third of Australia’s winegrapes had t, the VSI among their blend of varietals between the years 2000 and 2010, which was lower than 0.95.


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